© 2018

Xenophobia in South Africa

A History


  • Redefines and explores the sources of contemporary xenophobia, placing globalization and its discontents in dialogue with critical race theory

  • Presents the first formal analysis of romantic relationships between immigrant and non-immigrant communities in South Africa

  • Examines xenophobic language and terminology, uncovering the semantic and cultural origins of anti-immigrant sentiment and violence


Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Hashi Kenneth Tafira
    Pages 1-14
  3. Hashi Kenneth Tafira
    Pages 15-33
  4. Hashi Kenneth Tafira
    Pages 35-53
  5. Hashi Kenneth Tafira
    Pages 71-94
  6. Hashi Kenneth Tafira
    Pages 95-112
  7. Hashi Kenneth Tafira
    Pages 113-123
  8. Hashi Kenneth Tafira
    Pages 125-133
  9. Hashi Kenneth Tafira
    Pages 135-144
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 145-148

About this book


This book is a vivid history of racism in post-apartheid South Africa, focusing on how colonialism still haunts black intraracial relationships. In 2008, sixty-four people died in a wave of anti-immigrant violence in the Alexandra township of Johannesburg; in the aftermath, Hashi Kenneth Tafira went to Alexandra and undertook an ethnographic study of why this violence occurred. Presented here, his findings reframe xenophobia as a form of black-on-black racism, unraveling the long history of colonial dehumanization and self-abnegation that continues to shape South African black subjectivities. Studying vernacular, popular stereotypes, gender, and sexual politics, Tafira investigates the dynamics of love relationships between black South African women and black immigrant men, and pervasive myths about male sexuality, economic competition, and immigrants. Pioneering and timely, this book presents a cohesive picture of the new face of racism in the twenty-first century.


Postapartheid South Africa South African history Afrophobia Apartheid violence xenophobia in Africa immigration in South Africa anti-immigrant violence in Africa intraracial relationships in South Africa South African black subjectivity postcolonial South Africa contemporary African migration

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.JohannesburgSouth Africa

About the authors

Hashi Kenneth Tafira is an independent researcher, writer, and consultant, and the author of Black Nationalist Thought in South Africa: The Persistence of an Idea of Liberation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Xenophobia in South Africa
  • Book Subtitle A History
  • Authors Hashi Kenneth Tafira
  • Series Title African Histories and Modernities
  • Series Abbreviated Title African Histories and Modernities
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-67713-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-88474-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-67714-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 148
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics African History
    Social History
    Sociology of Racism
    Imperialism and Colonialism
  • Buy this book on publisher's site